2. Physical violence
Infants and the elderly are at particular risk of spinal fractures due to physical abuse. While people do fall accidentally, if a fracture happens to a person who cannot walk, like an infant or a senior citizen confined to their bed, a spiral fracture is an indicator of physical violence. Emergency room physicians are well-aware of these signs and circumstances.
Spiral fractures are caused in these situations by jerking or forcefully twisting an arm or a leg. Pre-school children and toddlers experience spiral fractures too; however, these are generally caused by falling on an arm or leg and not physical abuse.
Spousal abuse and domestic violence victims suffer spiral fractures in fights where one partner forcefully grabs an arm or leg and purposely twists to cause pain. This is not normal behavior. If you or someone you know is living in dangerous circumstances, seek help. Violence only escalates and could be fatal.